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Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 2

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

No matter what kind of problem you’re facing, you don’t have to face it alone. Even though you can’t see Him with your eyes, God is with you and ready to help you with your problems.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Think of it. Not only is the Lord with you as you read this, but also he is holding you by the hand and assuring you of his assistance. What kind of help does he offer? Whatever you need! If you’re struggling with forgiveness, worry, lust, apathy, anger, job performance, marital issues, loneliness, or anything else, God wants to help. No wonder he told Isaiah to “Fear not”! He wants to “roll up his sleeves” and get involved in your life. How involved? Consider this: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14).

What are you struggling with today? Turn to the Lord and ask Him to help. You can be confident that He will hear you and respond in the best way possible.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 1

I can do all things in him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

All things? Well, yes and no.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

There is some good news here, however: with God’s help, you will be able to do anything he calls you to do. When you’re looking at an unexpected tragedy or apparently hopeless dilemma, that’s exactly the kind of news you need to hear. (This is a great example of the relevance and practicality of the Bible.) As mentioned previously, St. Paul wrote these words while in captivity, chained to a Roman guard 24/7. He had just finished explaining how he learned to be content in any situation because he discovered the source of all happiness—Jesus Christ. His relationship with the Lord was all that mattered. Because of the presence of Christ in his life, Paul didn’t worry about what was happening to him. Instead, he believed he could handle anything that came his way. The better you know Jesus, the less you will worry.

God will never allow something to happen in your life unless, with His help, you can handle it. The secret, which we will work on this week, is to keep focused on Him. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 7

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. (Colossians 1:24)

As we’ve been discussing all week, trials and tribulations are a part of life. Fortunately, however, God can (and will) bring good out of our suffering if we let Him.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Suffering is a part of life. Sooner or later it’s something we all must face. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to pray that it will be taken away (after all, that’s what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane), don’t make the mistake of suffering in vain. Ask the Lord what he’s trying to teach you. In addition, suffering provides a great opportunity to grow close to Jesus. When you suffer, he is inviting you to help him in his mission of redeeming the world. What a great honor!

All this week, we focused on the fact that not everything in life will go smoothly. It’s something that had to be addressed, but now it’s time to move on. Let’s get ready to shift our focus from our trials and tribulations to the One who is always with us and in control. Beginning tomorrow, our eyes will be on God!

Let not your heart be troubled!

~Gary

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 6

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)

Here’s a question that just about all of us have asked at one time or another – If Jesus loves me so much, why is He allowing me to suffer?

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Take a moment and read today’s scripture passage again. St. Paul’s words are very clear—nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. If you are going through tough times, the Lord is allowing it; your trials are an expression of his love for you. If you get nothing else out of this book, please remember this fact. You don’t have to feel it and you don’t have to like it, but you need to believe it: Jesus loves you and everything that is happening (or will happen) in your life is a manifestation of that love.

One of the greatest breakthroughs in my relationship with Jesus came when the Holy Spirit helped me to understand that the presence of trials and tribulations in my life doesn’t mean that Jesus doesn’t love me. In fact, it means just the opposite. This is not something you can arrive at by reason alone. It’s also not something you’ll understand by reading my words. Believing that Jesus loves you even though He doesn’t always take your problems away comes through the working of the Holy Spirit.

My prayer for you today is that the Spirit’s grace will flood your heart and you’ll believe this message as much as Paul did when he wrote these words.

Let not your heart be troubled!

~Gary

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 5

And he looked up and said, “I see men; but they look like trees, walking.” Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:24–25)

At first glance, it appears that something went wrong when Jesus attempted to heal a blind man in Bethsaida. Why did Jesus have to lay hands on the man a second time? Why wasn’t he healed the first time?

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

What we find here is something that should give you great hope. This encounter reminds us that Jesus often heals us in stages. More often than not, healing is a process that takes time. Remembering this will spare you much grief and prevent you from giving up when your prayers aren’t answered quickly enough.

The process of giving up worry takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you mess up from time to time. It still happens to me. Be patient. Bad habits take time to break. It will get better over time. Keep trying. God’s healing grace is an amazing thing, but it often works gradually.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 4

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” (John 6:8–9)

I can’t do it. This is too much for me. Why bother? These are common reactions to the challenges we face every day. Responding this way, however, totally ignores the power of Jesus and His desire to help us with our daily struggles.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

When the disciples were faced with the dilemma of how to feed five thousand hungry people, Jesus tested Philip by posing the question, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” (Jn 6:5). The apostle responded by stating that they didn’t have enough money to buy the needed food. Andrew acknowledged that they had some food (five loaves and two fish) but concluded it was not enough to feed such a crowd.

Had they forgotten what had happened at the wedding in Cana, when Jesus turned water into wine? For some reason, it never even occurred to them to ask for the Lord’s assistance. Then, as if to remind them, Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish so that all could eat.

I’m not trying to downplay the difficulties we face every day, but we have Someone on our side who specializes in doing the impossible. Jesus never asks us to do more than we can. He asks us to do what we can. You may not be able to perform any miracles, but you know Someone who can. Jesus is waiting for you to invite Him into your problem. He has a history of making the impossible possible. Give Him a chance.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 3

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30) 

At the invitation of Jesus, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. All was going smoothly until he took his eyes off on Jesus and focused on the storm. He became afraid and began to sink. What should he have done differently? 

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good… 

Sometimes we believe that being afraid is the same thing as worrying. That is completely untrue. Fear is an emotion and worry is an action. One we can control, and the other we can’t. The goal of this book is to help you stop worrying, not to keep you from being afraid. Before we dig into this Bible verse, let’s take a closer look at fear and worry.

We may not be able to control our fear, but we can control how we respond to it. It took him a little while, but Peter eventually did the right thing and turned to Jesus for help. His cry for help wasn’t elaborate – “Lord, save me”! It’s one of my favorite prayers. 

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 2

Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

As we continue our quest to give up worrying and trust God with our lives, there is someone who wants us to fail. He will do whatever he can to ensure that we give in to worry.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Satan often tempts those of us who are anxious in the same way—by playing into our fears. He wants us to worry. Why? Because whenever we worry, we are moving away from God and focusing on ourselves. That makes the evil one very happy. We’ll get into the difference between fear and worry in the days to come, but just be aware that they are two different things. Fear is an emotion and is morally neutral. Worry is an action and can be controlled.

The good news is that Satan has no power over you. He can lie and threaten you, but he can’t force you to do anything. God loves you and is bigger than any problem you can ever face. If anyone, (including Satan) tries to tell you otherwise, it is a total lie. Don’t fall for it!

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 5, Day 1

“I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) 

Like it or not, Jesus always tells it like it is. His words here provide a great example. In this life we will have problems, BUT… 

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good… 

The key to understanding this message can be found in the last five words. Bad things will happen in the world. People will suffer and die. And yet, there is a bigger picture that must be grasped if we are ever to find peace. Our time on earth is temporary and is only a small part of our life. It will come to an end in a relatively short period of time. We were created for so much more than simply living in this world. When Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead, he opened the gates of heaven and made the next phase of our life possible.

This week, we’ll focus on the fact that we will have problems in this life. Surrendering your life to Jesus will not necessarily make them go away. What it will do, however, is give you the strength and composure you need to deal with them. A relationship with Jesus will also give you peace, even in midst of the most serious storm. 

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 4, Day 7

“Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

Jesus wants to help us with our problems, but He still expects us to do what we can. The servers at the wedding in Cana followed the instructions of the Blessed Mother (above) and obeyed Jesus when He asked them to fill up the jugs with water. As a result, they got to participate in the miraculous transformation of water into wine.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

God wants to help us with our daily struggles, but he also expects us to do what we can. While it’s true that he provides for the birds, they still have to look for the food. We should follow their example. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: do your best and let God do the rest.

Beginning tomorrow, we’ll spend a week focusing on the fact that following Jesus won’t make us immune from trials and difficulties. What it will do, however, is give us strength to withstand any storm that comes our way.

Let not your heart be troubled!

~Gary